Cambridge Delta Module 3 – First Things First

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

André Alipio | October 28, 2021 | 3-minute read

If you have been teaching for a while and have attended pre-service training courses like CELTA (Cambridge Assessment) or CertTESOL (Trinity College London), then you know the importance of Delta in the field of English teaching. If you have read my previous article (Delta 10 Questions), then you also know the award is organized in three modules, a first one that tests your theoretical knowledge, a second one that gives you the chance to show this knowledge in practice, and a third one, which goes beyond teaching, and checks if you can design a course to a group of leaners, focusing on a specialism.

When it comes to Module 3, you will need to choose a specialism, a group of learners, do a lot of research and plan a course for them. All of this information, plus appendices will be sent to Cambridge in an extended assignment of about 4,500 words. Although this seems to be straight-forward, it is more complex than what meets the eyes. Let's start by having a look at the five parts of the assignment:

Part 1 ........ Introduction

Part 2 ........ Needs Analysis & Diagnostic Testing

Part 3 ........ Course Proposal

Part 4 ........ Assessment

Part 5 ........ Conclusion

Got the picture? Yes, it is more than just briefly planning a course! Let's have a look at what you are supposed to do - and this is just a bird's eye view of it. First of all, you will need to choose a specialism (you can download them here) and, in Part 1, justify your choice. You will also need to point out the key issues of this area and say how they will impact your course. Simple? Not at all.

Part 2 will demand a lot of work. Based on the assumptions you came up with in Part 1, and the group of learners you have chosen, you will need to design/adapt needs analysis (NA) tools to collect as much data as possible about learners in relation to the specialism you have chosen, which will probably provide some really useful information, even if it is a bit subjective. You will also need to test them diagnostically, this time looking for more objective data to prove or disprove your initial information. Obviously, as it would be with all serious teaching awards, you will need to justify all your choices.

Some trainees and tutors regard Part 3 as the core section of the assignment. It is here in the course proposal where the reader will be able to see how you intend to respond to all the information coming from parts 1 and 2 above. You will need to think about a list of learning objectives, the materials and methods to help learners meet them, and a solid timetable to indicate when those materials should be dealt with. All these choices need to be, once more, based on a clear rationale. Generally, this is a time-consuming part of the assignment, but a very rewarding one.

As with most courses, this one will also need to add a component of assessment, which needs to be well explained in Part 4. Among other things, you will need to refer to assessment and evaluation, discuss and justify the tests you intend to give learners in the light of literature, and also make sure there is a way to assess the quality of such tests, referring to testing principles and characteristics of test construction. Finally, in Part 5, you will give your assignment a conclusion, which must really show all parts work together towards a solid course.

Needless to say, all of this is supposed to be based on a lot of reading, which must show along the assignment, with clearly sourced in-text references and quotes. So, obviously a course to help you go through Module 3 is very helpful, but you should have in mind that reading time is also something you will need, even if you have done Modules 1 and 2 before, as this module will call for very specific reading, for instance, on course design (click here for a reading list).

In the next posts, I will approach each part separately in order to give you a better idea and hopefully some hints. Sign up not to miss it.

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